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What is a Pour-Over Will and Should You Have One?

If you have researched estate planning, you have likely come across the term “pour-over will.” The term is often mentioned in conjunction with living trusts. But what exactly is a pour-over will and, more importantly, should you have one? 

A pour-over will is a document that decrees that all property that passes through your will when you die will be transferred to your trust. This might seem counterintuitive, and you are probably wondering why you should even have a will if its sole purpose is to transfer assets to a trust. There are, however, several advantages to this arrangement. 

First, a pour-over will is simple. This may not seem like a significant advantage, but after a person passes away, one of the biggest problems facing his or her estate is that the estate documents contradict each other. Often someone has a will in place but later prepares a trust, or the terms of one or the other are non-specific. A pour-over will is advantageous because it keeps all of the assets controlled by one document, the trust. Everything is funneled into that document and it makes it clear who gets what, which simplifies matters for the trustee. 

Similarly, a pour-over will allows you to make sure all of your assets are covered. When you prepare a living trust, you are expected to name specifically the assets covered by that trust. This might be easy when it comes to larger property, such as a house, but smaller assets or assets obtained after the trust was executed may be left out. The pour-over will offers the advantage of making sure all of your assets are ultimately included in your trust when you die. 

The main objection that some people raise in relation to a pour-over will is that it must pass through probate. This means that the property will not be transferred to the trust right away. However, generally the assets it includes are minor and the delays are not significant. In fact, if the assets are insignificant enough, your executor could apply for summary administration, which is more efficient and cost effective. 

If you are interested in acquiring a pour-over will, consider contacting the Florida wills attorneys at The Charles Law Offices for more information.

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